Umm, quite an interesting week on the weather front – monsoon style rain followed by gale force winds…. NICE! particularly when entertaining the ‘Little People’. Though strangely on reflection I think I am more the victim of our notorious weather than they are. Thursday was astonishingly dreadful – the kind of rain that having made a plan and embarked on it gets almost instantly binned as within 5 minutes of being out, the’Little People’ looked like they had jumped in the water-butt again! Having aborted one mission that morning, I refused to let the ‘hideousness’ get the better of our supposed ‘beach’ holiday on the Isle of Wight, so out we trekked (again) – destination ‘Bembridge Lifeboat Station’ . High tide, rain lashing down and wind racing round the Solent, I practically lost one child on the gangway getting to the lifeboat house, that would have been the shortest lifeboat rescue in history. Back to the lifeboat, it is really impressive. It’s a proper boys toy, all ‘mod cons’, pretty exciting boathouse and real dressed up life-size wax lifeboat men, foxed my gang for ages! After a safe retreat back to the mainland and a rather strong feeling of guilt we piled into the make shift lifeboat shop and sloshed some cash around as a thank you for child friendly entertainment on such a grim day!
In spite of our lamentable climate nothing can dull my excitement of the prospect of some Bembridge lobster and crab. Possibly the most delicious shellfish you will find and unquestionably the best priced. ‘The Captain Stan’ on Bembridge high street does a roaring trade and I can totally understand why. Their fish is all super fresh, but their lobster and crab is supreme! At roughly £10 a lobster and £5.50 for a pot of mixed fresh crabmeat you can eat like a Queen and at a fraction of the cost, forget ‘Burger and Lobster’, why bother going out when you can buy local and eat better at home? So, after a gruesome journey home to the farm last night, the 3 hour wait at Fishbourne ferry terminal was ‘traumotional’, a treat of ‘Bembridge Lobster Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette’ was heaven.
Lobster Salad with Raspberry vinaigrette
This was a little discovery I made back in March and I have to admit it works really well. The sharpness of the raspberry vinegar cuts through the sweetness of the lobster creating the most perfect balance. Last night was a little hectic, and a little hungry, hence please excuse the lack of photographic evidence – the lobster was devoured far to fast and furiously for the camera to make a decent entry!!
1 1lb lobster per person, claws cracked, but still in shell
1 handful of watercress, rocket, baby gem and fresh mint leaves, chive flowers to decorate!
1/2 avocado, in slices or chunks
1/2 fennel bulb in fine slices
Raspberry Vinegar (I buy mine from Waitrose but you can find it in most good supermarkets, delicatessen or if feeling brave, make your own!)
2 tablespoons of Raspberry vinegar
5/6 tablespoons of olive oil
2 teaspoons of honey or maple syrup
Salt and cracked black pepper
1. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together until the vinegar and oil have created an emulsion – slightly thicker than a dressing but looser than a mayonnaise! Add more honey if a little tart. Set aside.
2. Wash the salad ingredients and toss in the avocado and fennel if using.
3. Plate up said ‘Lobster’, drizzle the salad with the raspberry vinaigrette and serve with naughty potatoes – if you have them!!
Freshly dug up ‘naughty’ potatoes, make my heart race almost as much as lobster! They are the ones left over from last year growing where they shouldn’t be, I dig them far too early (like now) and they are literally broad bean size – but they are DELICIOUS – the sweetest, most buttery delight, you will never eat another tatty again after these!!
Suppliers and notes:.
The Captain Stan:
5, High St, Bembridge, Isle of Wight PO35 5SD
Tel: 01983 875572
They do deliver to the mainland!
Framboise – A L’Olivier – The raspberry vinegar I use.
http://burgerandlobster.com/ – haven’t been, but if you can’t get to ‘Captain Stan’, it is reputedly brilliant!
‘Traumotional’ – a nasty mix of traumatic and emotional – usually relating to the ‘Little People’.